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Old 05-28-2009, 11:40 AM   #1
imported_Next_Saturday
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Default Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

Highlight:
Joel scored further points by remembering gigs at both Massey Hall and Maple Leaf Gardens and seeing Gordon Lightfoot at Massey, calling him one of his heroes, before performing a snippet of Alberta Bound, causing the the audience to clap along.




http://www.torontosun.com/entertainm...80706-sun.html



Entertainment Columnists / Jane Stevenson
Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

By JANE STEVENSON, Sun Media

Last Updated: 27th May 2009, 1:07am

Sing us a song, you're The Piano Men.

And so Elton John and Billy Joel did for a marathon three-and-a-half-hours on Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre.

The longest-running, most successful concert pairing in pop history - which dates back to 1994 - returned to play the first of two sold-out shows of their so-called Face 2 Face tour. The second ACC outing is May 30.

The 62-year-old flamboyant Brit and the 60-year-old wise-cracking New Yorker last toured together in 2003/2004 but no rust was evident even if the proceedings were just a tad too long.

At least nobody can say they didn't get their moneys worth.

After their pianos dramatically rose out from underneath beneath the floor on an enormous stage dominated by a curved LED screen high above it, the formidable duo kicked off the night with John's Your Song followed by Joel's Just The Way You Are.

It was a gentle beginning to what would eventually become a raucous opening to John's solo set that followed, starting with the obligatory Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding before going straight into Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting, a real barnburner that normally closes John's show.

Both songs are from John's seminal 1973 double album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, the title track of which was also played by the singer-pianist and his five-man band which included longtime guitarist Davey Johnstone and original drummer Nigel Olsson.

"It's great to be back in Toronto, we always have a great time when we're here," said John, who arrived fresh off a press conference earlier in the day with his longtime Canadian partner David Furnish at the city's Starz Animation Studio where their animated musical comedy, Gnomeo And Juliet, is being made.

Wearing black tails with the words "Music Magic" in colorful sequins on the back offset by a fuschia top and silver shoes, John then delved further back in his catalogue with the early '70s tunes, Burn Down The Mission, Madman Across The Water, and Tiny Dancer.

Those songs began the slower part of John's set which also included Daniel, and an epic Rocket Man, which saw people on the floor finally rush the stage, before the gospel-infused Levon, I'm Still Standing and Crocodile Rock finally picked the energy up again.

Then it was Joel's turn to wow the crowd and he did a great job while playing on a piano that rotated.

"Good evening to you Toronto," said Joel, who proved to be the far more chattier of the two performers. "I'm Billy's dad. Billy couldn't make it tonight, he still thinks you have that SARS stuff going."

That declaration was greeted by boos.

"Listen, Sir Elton and I were supposed to play here but there was this thing called SARS. We were ready to come, but your health minister said not to come - not my fault," he said before adding with a smile: "So I'm here to bring you swine flu."

Joel, backed by an eight piece band including two horn players, actually proved to be both a vital and funny performer, kicking off his solo set with the energetic Angry Young Man , Movin' Out, Zanzibar and Don't Ask Me Why, before moving temporarily into slower territory with She's Always A Woman.

But it wasn't long before the hipwiggling began again with Scenes From An Italian Restaurant and River Of Dreams, while Joel strapped on an electric guitar for We Didn't Start The Fire, and hammed it up in front of the microphone during It's Still Rock It's Still Rock N' Roll To Me.

Joel scored further points by remembering gigs at both Massey Hall and Maple Leaf Gardens and seeing Gordon Lightfoot at Massey, calling him one of his heroes, before performing a snippet of Alberta Bound, causing the the audience to clap along.

The show actually could have ended quite nicely after Joel's set given it was now at the three hour mark but John return for a final run of duets, the best of which were Joel's Uptown Girl and You May Be Right, and John's The Bitch Is Back, featuring both men initially standing on top of their pianos, and Bennie And The Jets.

I'm not sure why covers of The Beatles' Birthday and Back In The USSR were really necessary as the lengthy show started to wind down but at least the duo closed with their own signature ballads, John's Candle In The Wind and Joel's Piano Man.

SET LIST:

(Together)

Your Song

Just The Way You Are

Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me

Ode To Joy/My Life

(Elton John)

Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting

Burn Down the Mission

Madman Across the Water

Tiny Dancer

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Daniel

Rocket Man

Levon

I'm Still Standing

Crocodile Rock

(Billy Joel)

Prelude/Angry Young Man

Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)

Allentown

Zanzibar

Don't Ask Me Why

She's Always A Woman

Scenes from an Italian Restaurant

River of Dreams

We Didn't Start the Fire

Be Bop A Lula/It's Still Rock N' Roll To Me

Only the Good Die Young

(Together)

I Guess That Why They Call It The Blues

Uptown Girl

The Bitch Is Back

You May Be Right

Bennie and the Jets

Birthday

Back in the USSR

Candle in the Wind

Piano Man
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

sounds like the show they gave several years ago-wonderfully entertaining and certainly worth the price of admission.
seeing BJ at Massey was better tho - he mentions Lightfoot every time he's in town.

Elton had big news the other day:
http://jam.canoe.ca/Movies/2009/05/20/9517876-cp.html
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

Thanks for the link, Char. I kind of get off on that for some reason.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:44 PM   #4
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National Post;
pic @
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...t-the-acc.aspx

Watching Elton John take his verse in Uptown Girl last night at the ACC, you had to wonder how much the royal Brit was getting paid for the gig. Not that he seems to mind all that much, after all, sharing a stage with Billy Joel means the 62-year-old Rocket Man only has to play a 20-minute duet at the start of the show, then an 80-minute solo performance, which all gets capped off by a final run through the biggies, you know, Benny and the Jets, the Bitch is Back and, finally, Candle in the Wind. No wonder he sings Uptown Girl with a smile. The tour is averaging more than a per-city US$2-million in sales with an average ticket price of US$112.18 -- last week, the Joel and John super show even walloped Britney Spears and the Eagles for best-selling concert. Sir Elton would sing Marylin Manson in a duck suit for that kind of green.

The performance in Toronto began with the two titans opposite each other on twin black pianos, trading verses and songwriting credits on Your Song, Just the Way You Are and Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me, Elton wearing a purple shirt and sequined jacket, Billy looking like Mel Brooks meets George Carlin in a baggy tan suit. Each pianist had their own five-piece band and when the two singers played together, the stage swelled with more than a baseball team worth of musicians. The stage often looked like the grand finale of a Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame ceremony induction and the sound was big, brassy and just this side of Vegas shtick.

However, and this must be said, that even if neither musician is perhaps pushing themselves musically anymore, their songbooks have padded them from criticism with a mountain of hits. Standing ovations greeted much of the music, especially when Elton John began his solo part of the evening and brought a Little Richard-esque climax to Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting). Of the two singers, John is the more operatic and his boogie-woogie style of piano gave Madman Across the Water a fun and swinging almost New Orleans-style funk. Not much for rejoinders with the crowd, John's go-to move after a number was to point at the audience. Trust me, after delivering the string of hits Tiny Dancer, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Daniel's Song and Rocket Man, with almost no interruption between songs except the crowd's standing ovations, the pointing thing was enough. I thought Lil Wayne knew how to write hooks.

The crowd, mostly middle-aged, white and comfortable in their sport coats, although many arrived sans tie, almost needed a breather before Billy Joel took the stage. But the pairing is nearly perfect: If Elton John provided a flourish, Billy Joel endeared himself to the crowd with bits that seemed straight out of the Catskills. After opening with a drawn-out Angry Young Man, Joel launched into Movin' Out, which was enlivened with three guitarists and three people blowing horns ("Trust me, you wouldn't want the horns to blow you," is the kind of joke Joel would make). To his credit, Joel introduced his band (which John did not do), but he hardly needed to tell us they were from Bensonhurst or New Jersey — it was all in their Alan Thicke hair.

"Billy couldn't make it tonight," Joel said. "Instead, he sent me. His dad."

The impressive thing about Billy Joel is, no matter how much he joked between numbers (and he joked a lot), he still delivered his straight-ahead numbers and they still packed considerable force. Allentown, a tale of unemployment written in 1982, sounds perfectly timely today and Zanzibar, which was introduced as "an album cut," was brought into the 21st-century with congo drums. The crowd simply could not get enough, especially when Joel talked of playing Massey Hall, Maple Leaf Gardens and Gordon Lightfoot, which drew screams, and then played She's Always a Woman and Scenes From an Italian Restaurant, which translates into a terrific live song with its time changes and nifty guitars. By the time he strapped on a guitar for We Didn't Start This Fire and then finished with It's Still Rock and Roll To Me, nearly everyone was dancing under the full house lights.

This would have been enough for most crowds. After all, 10:30 p.m. is about five hours after dinner and two hours later than most looked like they usually went to bed. But then Elton returned for his swing at Uptown Girl and enthusiasm only spread through You May Be Right and Benny and the Jets. It's been talked about that this show is Billy Joel vs. Elton John, but the two performers actually compliment each other beautifully. The Rocket Man and Piano Man actually occupy different spheres: Elton John is the dandified British peacock performer while Billy Joel is the greasy American blues man. While neither pianist allows much room for irony, they've both kicked around as many substance abuse problems as they have hit singles and avoid preciousness like it's an ex-wife (oh yeah, John has one, too).

The last song of the night was a duet of Piano Man, with many more than just Billy Joel and Elton John tuning in. When the lights came up for the song's final chorus, much of the ACC was swaying and nearly everyone in the crowd was singing along. For one night in Toronto, the ACC had become the city's biggest karaoke bar. Both musicians (nearly) earning every dollar they'd see.

[Photo by J.P. Moczulski for the National Post]
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

Globe and Mail
pics and comments @ http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1155616/
Brad Wheeler

Thursday, May. 28, 2009 01:44PM EDT

Billy Joel and Elton John

at the Air Canada Centre
in Toronto on Tuesday

Rocket Man meets Piano Man
Elton John and Billy Joel: They played, they sang, they conquered. If one came out ahead, it was only at the finale, and then only by a line

On stage there were two vintage grands – and their pianos were there too. Billy Joel and Elton John are the human jukeboxes of the Face 2 Face tour, a four-handed package that has enjoyed unparalleled success since its first shows back in 1994. Unless Little Richard hits the road with Jesus and Nat King Cole, the piano-pairing box-office records of Joel & John will be hard to beat. But of the model-marrying New Yorker and the Canadian-marrying British knight, who wins between them? At the end of a stunning, 31/2-hour hit parade (that returns to ACC on Saturday), who's still standing?

Head to Head

An introductory four-song set had two famous, squat men sitting at their long, black instruments, indeed head-to-head, some eight feet apart. The two didn't actually look at each other, lest their eyes meet as they traded unmanly lines about “how wonderful life is while you're in the world” and “I want you just the way you are.” Four songs are done duet-style; John's enthusiastic baritone was a bit frayed on Joel's My Life ; Billy's tenor was warmed up already on Elton's Your Song . John, 62, was lavishly attired in a long, gaudy coat; his contemporary blond toupée has aged well. Bald Joel, 60, dressed as if on Toronto's Bay Street, which he fairly was. The Englishman won the opening set – he had us at the rumbling descending notes of Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me , a sweeping, grandiose ballad that Joel's repertoire had no answer for.

By the Numbers

A beer-line poll revealed that six of the 18,000 fans came for both the main attractions, that four came for John, and that only one made the trip to see Joel. “He's lucky he's here with Elton,” one woman cracked.
A busy merchandise vendor said he was selling slightly more Rocket Man CDs than copies of The Stranger . One of his T-shirts reads “Billy + Elton = Heaven,” but a ticket stub argues that Joel plus John adds up to $277.50 (including two bucks for charity).
Songs and sets are split almost evenly: 17 John numbers, 16 Joel tunes, and two ivory-pounding rockers from Paul McCartney – Birthday and Back in the U.S.S.R , done exhilaratingly during an encore.

Captain Fantastic

John's music is more ambitious than his counterpart's. Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding is an epic, progressive piece that, when released in 1973, should have warned people of the man's theatre-score ambitions. John boogied and woogied on the high-octane Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting . Burn Down the Mission had a soulful, southern-rock feel, while Madman Across the Water , from 1971, sprawled like Stevie Winwood's Traffic . The affecting Tiny Dancer wonderfully rhymed “ballerina” with “you must have seen-a,” the soaring ballad Rocket Man blew the roof off, and Crocodile Rock had socks a-hoppin'. If T-shirts were boasts, John's would read “I'm a tough act to follow, and if you don't believe me, just ask Billy Joel.”

He's no Stranger

Reacting to John's robust set, Joel opened his own with muscular versions of Angry Young Man and Movin' Out (Anthony's Song) . Where John was not much for banter, Joel was gregarious, mentioning the duo's 2003 ACC concert (cancelled because of the SARS outbreak), and joking that he was now bringing the swine flu. Unlike John's material, songs like the working-class Allentown tell stories. John's playing was bluesy; Joel's Zanzibar was Steely Dan-jazzy. She's Always a Woman to Me , melodic with a baroque flow, had an audience in Joel's sway. Maybe he didn't start the fire, but he certainly wasn't extinguishing it either.

The Piano Men

Going into the encore set, the two pop icons were even enough. If they had come to see John, there weren't many folks walking to the restrooms during Joel's set. Joel added high harmony on John's Candle in the Wind ode, and gave as well he took during a rollicking The Bitch Is Back . The madman from across the water stole the shout-along rocker You May Be Right , but the telling blow came at the concert's finale: John sang the line “it's me they've been comin' to see” on Piano Man , Joel smiling as it happened on his own signature song. He had played piano, guitar and rack harmonica, and now he had graciously added second fiddle to his list.

Billy Joel and Elton John play ACC again on Saturday; Ottawa, June 1; Montreal, June 3; and Buffalo, July 24.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:55 PM   #6
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The Star
article & comments @ http://www.thestar.com/article/641011
IC LAST NIGHT
TheStar.com | Music | Billy Joel, Elton John duel pianos at the ACC

Billy Joel, Elton John duel pianos at the ACC

May 27, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (9)
Ashante Infantry
JAZZ & POP CRITIC

Billy Joel certainly had his work cut out for him, returning to the Air Canada Centre stage after a thrilling Elton John set which featured expanded versions of the Brit's tunes, such as "Madman Across the Water" and "Rocket Man."

"Elton wows them," proclaimed the cheekily apt graphic that capped John's 75-minute solo appearance which ended with "Crocodile Rock" and a sated crowd roaring approval.

Despite well-documented abuses, the 62-year-old's voice is rigorous in the lower range and his right hand remains a harmonic beast.

The pop legends had opened the show together on this edition of their duo gig first launched in 1994. The 2003 Toronto stop was aborted due to SARS because "your health minister said `Don't come,'" Joel said last night.

This 3 1/2-hour outing, titled Face2Face, drew a capacity crowd, including a few hundred who anted up for behind-the-stage seats (for which Joel thanked them).

It was a worthy spectacle. Two opposing grand pianos rose out of stage and with great fanfare of music, bows and flourishes, the two icons – distinguished by their songwriting, performance and personalities – sat and began mining their incredible catalogues, trading lines and licks on "Your Song," "Just the Way You Are," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" and "My Life."

Clad in a conservative grey suit, Joel inveigled the crowd, while the showy John – appliquéd jacket, purple shirt, silver shoes, his initials on his spectacles – was all business.

Then John delivered the first individual portion with a hard driving band of peers. With clever lighting and spare video imagery, he demonstrated his agility on the ivories, weaving blues and jazz into his pop-rock signatures.

But Joel, 60, who followed with a crew of younger players, held his own.

A little raspier than in his youth, the New York native was relentless on the keys and also had the audience dancing and belting the choruses of favourites, such as "Allentown," "Don't Ask Me Why" and "She's Always a Woman."

Between songs, he cracked a few X-rated jokes, did impressions (including Gordon Lightfoot) and delivered ex-wife anecdotes.

They were a complimentary pair, well-served by the arena's acoustics. Joel charmed, but John impressed.


Does Caledon mansion belong to Elton John?
Caledon is abuzz over a large house in town that locals say becomes strangely active when Sir Elton and his Toronto-born partner David Furnish are in town.One icon gives another a tough act to follow
http://www.thestar.com/Article/640964
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:31 PM   #7
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Default BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

http://www.torontosun.com/2014/03/09...rns-to-toronto

TORONTO - Billy Joel has been around the block.

And on Long Island no less where he grew up.

So when the 64-year-old singer-songwriter-pianist screwed up the lyrics to his first encore song, We didn’t Start the Fire, playing a red electric guitar in front of a full house at the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night, he didn’t mince words.

“This was one of the worst melodies I’ve ever written,” he said adding once the song had been successfully completed: “That’s going to be all over YouTube. That’s okay. It was an authentic rock and roll f--k up.”

Screw up aside, Joel - who began an historic monthly residency at New York City’s Madison Square Garden this year and hasn’t played a solo show at the ACC since 2007- delivered a solid and entertaining two hours of his hits and lesser known songs.

As the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer himself said, he’s celebrating his 50th year in show business so he clearly knows what he’s doing by now.

“Long time no see,” said Joel. “I’m going to be 65 soon. Most people retire at 65 but noooooo!”

Playing on a piano perched on a rotating platform with an impressive split video screens and slick lighting overhead, the suit and tie wearing Joel kicked off the night with Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway) backed by an eight piece band including Mark Rivera (Ringo Starr) on saxophone.

And he seemed genuinely glad to be back in Canada as he sang snippets of Gordon Lightfoot’s If You Could Read My Mind and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald and The Band’s Up On Cripple Creek.

“A lot of good music came out of here,” said Joel, recalling how thrilled he was to play Massey Hall years ago because his “idol” Lightfoot had played there.

And a lot of good music came out of Joel too over the last five decades given his album sales of 150 million.

The concert took a big upward turn in energy when the crowd was finally allowed to gather at the front of the stage following the first big highlight of the night, New York State of Mind, with the Empire State Building all lit up in blue on the video screens.

From there, Joel never really backed down with such upbeat songs Sometimes A Fantasy, Movin’ Out, and River of Dreams, juxtaposed against such classics as Always A Woman, Scenes From An Italian Restaurant and Piano Man.

When it came time for the encore, Uptown Girl, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me

You May Be Right, and Only the Good Die Young went off without a hitch with the audience rising to its feet again and again and singing every word.

SET LIST:

Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)
Pressure
The Entertainer
Vienna
Zanzibar
And So It Goes
Allentown
The Downeaster Alexa
New York State of Mind
Sometimes a Fantasy
Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)
She’s Always a Woman
Don’t Ask Me Why
River Of Dreams/Hard Days Night
Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
Piano Man
ENCORE:
We Didn’t Start The Fire
Uptown Girl
It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me
You May Be Right
Only the Good Die Young

Billy sings Gord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nimaA91nkys

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Old 03-10-2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

That was wonderful.

When I was a kid in the 70s and a teen in the 80s,
Billy was one of my top 10 favorites,so to hear him sing GL is awesome.


Thank for that Charlene.
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Old 03-11-2014, 05:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

i've got all his albums, but i cant understand his comments about we didnt start the fire. i've loved it from day 1, and know all the lyrics!
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

Love Billy Joel, too! I remember he did an interview many years ago when he referred to Gordon in a very positive way (don't remember the exact words, but it was all complimentary). Yet another reason to respect THE Piano Man!
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Old 03-14-2014, 04:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

Always great to see love from one of my all-time favourite artists to another. Not that I need any validation for my love of Gord, obviously!
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

Quote:
I've got all his albums, but i cant understand his comments about we didnt start the fire. i've loved it from day 1, and know all the lyrics!
http://www.inthe70s.com/generated/lyricsmeaning.shtml

"Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire"
"This is a song that describes the influences that WWII had on America, and the reality of post-war America. It's up-beat tune is extremely catchy, distracting many listeners from the true meaning: life and times of post-war America."
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

2014 concert - http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...ght=billy+joel
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:00 PM   #14
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Default Re: BIlly Joel sings Lightfoot again

2009 - http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...day+night+live
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:45 PM   #15
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Default Bill joel doing some Lightfoot fun again

i dont know if this has been posted, but he snuck in some Lightfoot towards the end of 'you're my home'. a bit of fun!

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Old 05-31-2016, 12:03 AM   #16
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Default Re: Bill joel doing some Lightfoot fun again

I think he's said he wanted to write Downeaster Alexa in the style of a Lightfoot tune as well..
2009 Joel posts: http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...day+night+live

2014 - http://www.corfid.com/vbb/showthread...ght=billy+joel
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Old 05-31-2016, 05:46 AM   #17
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Default Re: Bill joel doing some Lightfoot fun again

More reasons to love Billy Joel!!!! We're going to see him again in Philly, PA next month. I've lost count of how many times we've seen him in concert (since 1978)- not as many as for Gordon, but @ least 10 times!

Gail

Last edited by paskatefan; 06-01-2016 at 05:55 AM.
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Old 05-31-2016, 09:21 AM   #18
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Default Re: Bill joel doing some Lightfoot fun again

Me too!! - since about 1974 at Massey Hall....he's a fabulous artist...one of my faves..
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Bill joel doing some Lightfoot fun again

Back in the 60's Billy was in a group called "The Hassles."

They weren't well known but they also recorded for UA and since Gordon did I wonder if they crossed paths?
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Old 02-14-2019, 12:08 PM   #20
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:13 AM   #21
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Default Re: Elton & Billy show hit the right keys

Yay for THE Piano Man (not to slight Elton by any means, he's GREAT, too)!



Gail
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